“COP 28”…an extraordinary summit in a volatile “geopolitical” situation | Science

Tonight’s event is so similar to yesterday’s legal parties’ meeting Last year’s “COP 27” conference on climate change, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, is set to host the “COP 28” conference in Dubai tomorrow, Thursday 11, in light of the volatile global “geopolitical” situation caused by the war in Russia and Ukraine. On March 30th, a more…complicated situation will take place. Apart from the war waged by the Israeli occupying forces in the Gaza Strip since October 7, interrupted by a humanitarian truce brokered by Qatar and Egypt, the same political context as last year’s events remains.

While the summit hosted by the UAE is “technically” described as a special one because it was held in a year of extreme climate phenomena and witnessed unique climate events, experts are almost unanimous that politics will cloud its negotiations. upper shadow, although most observers emphasized the need to separate meetings. On the conflict in Gaza.

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The latest news confirming the difficulty of detaching the conference from politics came from the United States, whose representatives failed to make a clear position on the possibility of US President Joe Biden participating in the summit events.

Before the Biden era, it was unusual for a U.S. president to attend every COP summit, but Biden has made climate issues a priority and expressed this by attending the first two COP summits. His behavior differs from that of his predecessor, Donald Trump, who was a leading skeptic on the issue. climate change.

Biden participated in the COP27 climate summit last year, but his position on participating in COP28 has not yet been determined (Reuters)

In 2021, Biden went to Glasgow and promised at the COP26 climate conference that the United States would once again assume a leadership role in the global climate field after his predecessor Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement. This year we will participate in the United Nations Climate Change Conference “COP 27” held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

However, the White House has not yet established a clear position on Biden’s attendance at the COP28 summit, as his official schedule does not indicate that he will attend the meeting, nor has he issued a clear statement clarifying whether he will attend, which means that it hopes to keep the possibility of his attendance at the meeting. Later, as Washington Post columnist David Ignatius noted.

Ignatius said: “In my estimation, the matter depends on the development of the situation in the Gaza Strip after the humanitarian truce ends on Tuesday. The days after the four-day truce will be ambiguous for the Israeli occupation, which Biden What are you worried about?”

The Israeli occupying forces are facing a “controversial dilemma” over how to resume bombings of the Gaza Strip as part of what they say is an effort to eliminate the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, prompting internal tensions in the near future. There were some “very violent clashes.” ”, as Ignatius confirmed, the presence of a US president in this volatile regional situation is difficult.

Biden’s absence… saves face

Ahmed Qandil, head of the International Studies Department and Energy Studies Program at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Egypt, does not believe the political impact of the war in Gaza is the main reason for taking this stance. He told Al Jazeera in a telephone interview that the reason for the US president’s absence was related to his reluctance to attend the event. The U.S. government is well aware that the global political climate Washington helped shape is not conducive to a summit. Bring anything new.

At COP 27, countries called for the total elimination of fossil fuels, but the summit limited itself to calls for “phased reduction” (Getty)

The United States imposed economic sanctions on Russian gas and oil exports after Russia attacked Ukraine, which led to increased global demand for fossil fuels, leading to a climate policy backlash, the effects of which were reflected at last year’s “COP 27”. This year, it is expected to continue at “COP.28”.

During the COP27 summit in Egypt, some countries pushed for a complete phase-out of fossil fuels, but the final text only called for “gradual reduction,” disappointing them.

Qandil does not think the situation will change at COP28 because the world is not ready to make the decision to phase out fossil fuels. Furthermore, any breakthrough on this issue would require a consensus between China and the United States, which is unexpected given their different political stances on the Russia-Ukraine war and the Gaza Strip war. Relations between them are strained.

COP 28 will for the first time assess progress towards the goals Paris climate agreementIt will also see the approval of the Climate Loss and Damage Fund, the US has not provided the hoped-for financing of climate adaptation measures under the Paris Agreement (developed countries have pledged $100 million to help developing countries), and it is not prepared to effectively participate in the fight against loss and damage funds because its stance on the summit reflected a desire to evade responsibility, supporting a trend of U.S. presidents skipping summits to save their own face, according to Qandil.

direct and indirect effects

If the impact of the Gaza war on U.S. presidential attendance is a matter of debate and division, the joint “environmental energy” project between Israel and Jordan, which last year was described as an environmentally friendly policy, has had a clear and direct impact An example of a better future for the East. middle.

Under the project, known as “water for energy,” Jordan will provide solar power to Israel, and Israel will deliver desalinated water to Jordan in return. Its terms were initially agreed in November last year, with the final version scheduled to be signed off at this year’s climate conference COP28.

However, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in an interview with Al Jazeera TV a few days ago: “We will not sign this agreement again… Can you imagine the Jordanian minister sitting next to the Israeli minister signing the water agreement?” and electricity Agreement and all that while Israel continues to kill children in Gaza? “.

Another less obvious impact of the war in Gaza may be reflected in the positions of different countries in reaching agreements on environmental protection.

“Diplomats from some countries may now be less willing to Reaching compromise with others because they differ on issues.” Unlike conflict.

He added: “Some Arab countries aligned with the United States have recently adopted positions closer to Israel, but because of their differences with the United States, they will be forced to not take a 100% American position in climate negotiations in front of their own people.” Its position in the war, and the alliance including the US, UK and EU will in turn put pressure on Russia and China (using Ukraine and Taiwan as excuses), developing countries may start to move away from the US, UK, EU axis The heart is to make friends with Russia and China. It will be interesting to see how this is reflected in the negotiations, so my prediction is that “politics will cast a big shadow on this meeting”.

Protests and economic impact

Frederick Weary, a senior fellow with the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, observed the impact of the war from another perspective, saying that “the presence of civil society activists at the conference is likely to raise concerns about an escalation of the war. concerns about the impact.” Israeli invasion, and the resulting destruction of infrastructure. “Water services and mass displacement impact Palestinians’ ability to take action to adapt to climate change.”

He said in analyze “These calls are likely to expand into criticism of the normalization of relations between Arab states and Israel, which poses a challenge to the COP host country’s commitment to integration and freedom of assembly,” posted the foundation’s website.

Gaza war will reduce Israel’s participation in COP 28 and cancel Benjamin Netanyahu’s summit plans (Al Jazeera)

Frederick pointed to another impact, namely the economic one, explaining that “the current overall impact of the Gaza conflict on the global economy is small, but the prolongation and geographical expansion of the war could make the situation significantly worse.” “Blooming.” That could have a negative impact on rich countries’ ability and willingness to help poor and less fortunate countries suffering from climate change, including those in the Middle East, and could have an impact on oil prices and economic growth, according to the International Monetary Fund. It also reinforces the belief that the world is not yet ready to transition away from fossil fuels. “

In addition, the Gaza war is bound to reduce the scale of Israel’s participation in the summit and cancel Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to attend the summit. “It’s hard to imagine this happening now, given the Israeli blockade on Gaza and the solidarity of the Arab masses, including people from Arab countries, for the Palestinians, how will the Israeli leadership engage?” said Frederic in the Gulf. “

Unlike the Russian-Ukrainian war

In turn, the Senior Advisor on Climate Change and Rural Development at the Regional Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations did not deny thatFAW) Muhammad Abdel Moneim said that experts talked about the possibility of all these effects occurring, but he believed that they were not comparable to the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

“Unfortunately, the climate conference has become an economic conference rather than an environmental conference, where the main driver of the negotiations is economics,” he told Al Jazeera in a telephone interview. “So a war in Gaza will not have the same impact as a war in the Middle East.” That’s serious.” Ukraine is at war with Russia, a region with an influence on the world economy in the production of oil, gas, grains and fertilizers.

Abdel Moneim does not expect any breakthroughs in emissions reductions at the conference, given the impact of the economy on the environment, despite extreme weather this year and the first assessment of the world’s performance in meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement. This summit became an “extraordinary summit”.

This year is expected to be the hottest on record, with historic heatwaves set to hit the United States, China and southern Europe this summer, largely caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

Last July, the World Meteorological Organization called on governments to adopt action plans for rising temperatures “to protect the hundreds of thousands of people who die each year from preventable heat-related causes”.

The COP28 summit will be held later breast The first assessment of progress towards achieving the 2015 Paris Agreement goals is worrying, including that countries are still far from meeting the Paris Agreement goals and that the world can still limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this goal, countries must reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 43% in 2030 and 60% in 2035 compared to 2019 levels.

“At this summit, the world must break away from the power of economics as it faces the existential threat posed by climate change,” Abdel Moneim said.

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